Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Child abuse and government
William N. Grigg writes about the connection between authoritarian government and child abuse in his blog post on Pro Liberate: "Don't Tase me, Big Bro!"
Here are a few excerpts, but you really should read the whole thing through, it's shriek of outrage inducing, at least for me:
When a police officer subdues a child as young as five years of age by treating him to a 50,000-volt shock, this is a law enforcement decision that will be the subject of an official review.
Sure, the officer's actions will eventually be vindicated, but in the interest of good public relations the officer, his superiors, and the local media have to undergo an intricate ritual, as stylized as Kabuki theater, before announcing the official inquiry's foregone conclusion.
When a group of Florida prison guards subject scores of children, ranging in age from 5 to 17, to 50,000-volt shocks as a kind of bizarre prank, this is a lapse of judgment that may have adverse career consequences -- up to and including termination -- but no criminal charges or intervention by the Department of Children and Families...
...In one of the "playful" incidents, children were arranged in a circle holding hands so that they could share the charge when one of them was shocked. At another prison, children were shocked individually by having a stun gun pressed against their bodies. At least two of the kids were sent "sprawling to the floor, crying out in pain and clutching at agonizing burns on their arms," and one of them ended up in the hospital.
One would expect that criminal charges would ensue as a result of those incidents. One would be wrong. Three employees -- Lt. Russell Bourgault and Sgt. Walter Schmidt, 14-year veterans of the prison system, and six-yet vet Sgt. Charmaine Davis -- were fired. Maj. Seth Adams, a 19-year veteran, and Lt. P.J. Weisner, who had 11 years in the system, resigned. According to news reports, an additional 16 employees face unspecified "discipline."
Thus far, however, there are no pending criminal charges, and the Florida State Department of Children and Family Services (CFS), one of the nation's most energetic child-snatching bureaucracies (it produced Janet Reno, remember), has shown no interest in separating the injured children from their parents. This is a remarkably restrained official reaction, one likely influenced by the fact that the parents involved in this scandal are or were government employees...
...As the father of six children, none of which could be described as a quiet, placid introvert, I can understand the occasional need to administer discipline of an unpleasantly exemplary nature. Although I'm not disinclined toward corporal punishment, I consider it to be of extremely limited utility and employ it very sparingly.
Once, while visiting an authoritarian church , I overheard a conversation in which a father, in a voice colored with concern, described his young son as a "willful, high-spirited" individual; with an expression of almost vindictive satisfaction, his interlocutor exclaimed, "Well, the good thing is that as his father, it's your responsibility to break that will."
Try as I might, I can't understand how anyone -- let alone someone professing to worship the Author of the Sermon on the Mount -- could conclude that raising children involves breaking them in any sense. Certainly, it involves teaching them to restrain and discipline their appetites, to practice deferral of gratification, to treat others with respect and deference where appropriate, and to obey God's law (as summarized in the Two Great Commandments). It means helping them to understand and practice self-regulation.
But "breaking" another human being in any sense or context is abusive by definition -- irrespective of the means employed...
...It stands to reason that the last thing the architects of a collectivist society want is a population of self-regulating, self-governing free individuals...
Full post is here if you missed the link at the top :-)